The role of science in the EEAS
The use of scientific evidence has always been a principle of EEAS activities. Examples of the integration of scientific advice into EU foreign and security policies include space policy, climate diplomacy, and crisis management, to name but a few. The Joint Communication “A stronger EU engagement for a peaceful, sustainable and prosperous Arctic” is a recent example of a policy document benefitting from scientific input. Similarly, scientific evidence is underpinning current priorities such as the Global Gateway Initiative.
The EEAS relies on a variety of evidence providers such as the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) and agencies like the EU Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) and the EU Satellite Centre (SatCen). Various EU Delegations count on the support of research and innovation counsellors seconded by the European Commission and located in key partner countries for cooperation in science, technology and innovation. This comes in addition to the more than 500 science, technology and innovation counsellors currently existing in Member State Embassies world-wide.
In addition to engaging with the European institutions, the EEAS is fostering the dialogue with Member States’ Ministries of Foreign Affairs, e.g. through an informal Network of Science Advisors and Science Diplomacy Coordinators in EU Ministries of Foreign Affairs created at the beginning of 2021. The network aims at providing a platform for facilitating the exchange of experiences and best practices among diplomatic services on science and technology related matters, ensuring an information flow on recent developments and supporting each other when it comes to the use of scientific evidence.
The establishment of a Science & Technology Advisor position in the Policy Planning and Strategic Foresight Division, seconded by the Joint Research Centre (JRC), has strengthened further the role of science at the EEAS. The Science & Technology Advisor raises awareness for research and innovation related issues, supports the sharing of knowledge, training, and enhances the engagement of the EEAS with key stakeholders across Europe.
In addition to the EEAS, various services of the European Commission carry out science diplomacy related activities. These include most notably DG Research and Innovation (DG RTD), the Joint Research Centre (JRC), DG Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (DG EAC), and DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CNECT), as well as services in charge of external relations like DG International Partnerships (DG INTPA), DG European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO), DG Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) and DG Trade. Furthermore, a number of sectoral Commission services in areas like environment, climate action, maritime affairs, health and food safety, energy, as well as defence industry and space, regularly deal with science, technology and innovation matters in an international context.